So, you’ve decided you’re ready to downsize and start living your best retirement life? You’ve decided you’d like a change of scenery, but where to kick off this new stage? Here are five gorgeous Australian locations that will have you packing your bags and home in no time.
1. Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
A vast array of wineries? Yes. Scenic beaches? Check. Gorgeous natural wilderness? Absolutely. Proximity to Melbourne? You bet.
Dotted with charming seaside villages and endless opportunities for bush and beach walks, bike riding, horse riding, fishing and boating, the Mornington Peninsula offers natural beauty and recreation in abundance. If shopping and dining are dear to your heart, coastal towns such as Dromana have you covered.
Property prices tend to be high, so retiring here might require a generous budget, but it's hard to beat the fresh air and healthy living. With over 50 retirement villages in the area to choose from, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs.
2. The Sunshine Coast, Queensland
It’s easy to see why the Sunshine Coast attracts many holidaymakers and sea changers. Indeed, the Tourism Sentiment Index rates it as the most loved destination in the world, no less!
Stretching from Caloundra, near Brisbane, about 60 kilometres north to the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, the Sunshine Coast encompasses miles of stunning coastline, mangroves, lakes and verdant hinterland.
If surfing – or learning to surf – is on your retirement bucket list, this is the place for you, with beaches to suit every level. If golf is your passion, you won’t want to pass up the championship course at Coolum.
Property prices are cheaper than in Sydney, with ocean views unsurprisingly demanding the highest prices across this picturesque region. If beaches aren’t your thing, you could check out retirement villages nestled a little further inland with lush rainforest surroundings.
3. Newcastle, New South Wales
With unspoilt ocean beaches on one side and Australia’s most famous wine region on the other, Newcastle has all the benefits of city living without the price tag – or the crowds.
Restaurants and cafes line the city streets, while you can escape the bustle and enjoy the ocean scenery via spectacular coastal walks. A thriving nightlife includes boutique bars, clubs, breweries, and music venues, while a short drive to the Hunter Valley takes you to world-class wineries, restaurants, and luxury resorts.
As a large regional centre, Newcastle has all the facilities you would expect from a city, from leading hospitals to cultural hubs, making it easy to organise specialist medical visits or trips to see concerts, exhibitions, family and friends.
Because it’s just a two-hour drive to Sydney, living in the Hunter can keep you close to friends and family while enjoying a semi-rural lifestyle. There is even a large local airport with direct flights to destinations throughout Australia.
It’s not easy to zero in on just one part of Tasmania when it comes to retirement options. The island is rich with natural beauty, not to mention outstanding food, breweries, distilleries, wineries and a thriving art scene. You'll be hooked by one big gulp of that legendary Tassie fresh air.
Property prices are less expensive than on the mainland, making the prospect of a retirement village more feasible for limited budgets. Popular places include Launceston, which enjoys a slightly less chilly climate than more southern locations, and St Helens, which has a large retiree population and a strong community feel.
5. Adelaide, South Australia
Loved for its vibrant city centre, Adelaide boasts exceptional food and wine, great shopping, nature at your doorstep and world class events that often come to town. Bayside beauties such as Glenelg draw visitors from far and wide who come to walk along its long, sandy beach or swim and fish or dine out at one of its many seaside restaurants.
The best thing about Adelaide is that everything is pretty close. The Fleurieu Peninsula, home to some of Australia’s most renowned wine labels, including McLaren Vale, is just a 40 minute drive from the city centre and the beautiful Barossa is just over an hour’s drive. Let’s not forget that Kangaroo Island is just a hop, skip and a ferry away.
We truly are spoilt for choice when finding places to retire in Australia. The combination of stunning bush, mountain and beach settings combined with a climate that makes outdoor recreation a pleasure all year round means this could be one of the more challenging decisions you have to make on your downsizing journey!